When 35-year-old Brad Lamm's friends sat him down and told him that they thought he was going to die if he didn't stop drinking alcohol and taking crystal meth, it started a process that saw him go to rehab for the first time six months later.
That was in 2003. Now a successful author living a happy life in recovery, he says – as shown in the televised interview below – that this intervention saved his life.
Despite his disbelief that he was too far gone, and that he would never be able to find lasting and effective change, he courageously made that vital first move and actively sought help. He has never looked back.
Intervention, if orchestrated effectively, can successfully sow a seed, provide a lifeline, and offer hope to the addict that a way out of their afflicted life is possible.
Interventions are often a necessary and vital part in getting someone to agree to, and into, treatment. However, once an addict has agreed, the window of opportunity to them actually making it through the treatment facility door can be very small.
Addicts who are still using, those with eating disorders who believe their "eating disorder voice", or gamblers who are certain they will win their money back at the weekend are sometimes hard to convince that they need help. They are unable to see that family and friends are desperate, or to comprehend the destruction caused and recognise the perpetual vicious circle of events they are trapped in.
Addicts are usually masterful manipulators who will say almost anything – and agree to your suggestions – in order to support their addiction, or to buy time while they plan their next move. They will often have many excuses ready as to why going into treatment isn't possible, such as they have to go to work on Monday or they are training for a competition that is in a few weeks' time.
Remember, not all addicts have reached their rock bottom. Many are still able to work jobs and drive cars – what is unclear is how much they are struggling at work or how many accidents they've had while driving lately.
Even if an addict agrees to get help, they can all too quickly change their minds. Mobiles are switched off and hotel rooms are rented as the addict runs away from the fear of dealing with their addiction. Families are left helpless and the cycle continues.
This is where professional intervention can help.
Addicts will often benefit from intervention guided by an experienced and qualified individual to get them across that recovery line. It is sometimes lifesaving, as you never know when an overdose, accident or the next life-changing situation will occur as a result of the person's addiction.
Red Umbrella is able to provide an intervention specialist to work with the addict, we well as friends and family members. Compassionate, honest and effective communicators, these professionals are often successful at helping addicts to realise they need help and getting them into treatment as soon as possible.
No matter what the addiction, whether alcohol, drugs or gambling, interventions involving the family will be emotionally charged and complicated. This is often the first time, however, that the addict and the family will have come together and can be an important time for healing, understanding and for the reaffirmation of love and support. This positivity is energy giving and restorative, and is often a catalyst for many addicts to be able to start a journey towards recovery.
This is a service offered to employers that is a kind and effective way of managing addiction in the workplace. Losing key workers is expensive and it is challenging having a team member who isn't performing most of the time. Tell-tale signs that a worker is an addict can include too many sick days, mood swings, questionable judgement, absenteeism and poor punctuality.
Interventions in the workplace are professional and dignified – and always with the goal of the employee or addict returning to work where they will be supported during their recovery.
At Red Umbrella, we understand what the addict is going through, and we know how an intervention needs to be orchestrated in order to give the best opportunities for treatment.